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United States - 2004 Updates/Changes

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I think this scenario really needs some changes. Howard Dean should be given a fairly big lead at the start of the Primaries, like Clinton and Giuliani in the 2008 Scenario. There should be more voters in the General Election, there's only about 100 million, when in fact over 120 million voted in RL. Bush's General Election lead is too big during the Primary campaign. Also, Lincoln Chafee should be given some percentage points and an updated platform.

What else does in your opinion need updating/changing?

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Yeah, clearly Bush's advantage in the game is far too great. What I've done to balance things out is give Bush a large sum of money upfront but put his fundraising ability down to zero. This is all that can keep him from raising millions of dollars a day once his momentum gets going and airing wall-to-wall ads in every state. I've also taken out the news story bonuses from his wins in the primaries and eliminated the debates. I rarely run the scenario with Powell or Chaffee on, so it's not really an issue.

I do agree that Dean should be farther out front at the start of the primaries, and weren't Gephardt and Lieberman stronger contenders earlier on? Wasn't Kerry more or less an also-ran until he started gaining traction in Iowa?

And although I haven't made this change yet, I'm going to: Ohio is in the toss-up column at the start of the primaries on the general election map, while Illinois is Republican-leaning. The end result is usually Ohio becomes reliably Democratic while Illinois is a major battleground state. Swapping Ohio's and Illinois' percentages would make for more realistic results.

But I've gotta say, since handicapping Bush in the scenario, election night is almost always close, which makes for exciting gameplay.

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